Set and Forget it

Set and Forget it

It’s the promise of a maintenance free future and we’ve all heard it or bought it before.  It’s rarely the reality but an appraisal is an example of a “set it & forget it” feature that you should add to your collectible car.  An appraisal is a confidential value opinion supported by data which is given by a qualified neutral professional.  There are different approaches to value like Fair Market Value or Replacement Value.  How much would I expect to sell it for? That’s Fair Market Value.  How much money would I need to replace this car with a nearly identical one?  That’s Replacement Value.  Nobody told Charlie to get an appraisal.


If you follow the popular televised auctions you will see cars that come across the block on Thursday or Friday that look like amazing bargains and many of them are.  The common feature of many Thursday cars is that they were well purchased and then brought to auction in order to be sold as soon as possible.  A lot of these cars were preserved by a cool old car guy like you but he has unfortunately passed away.  The reality is that in 2016 the knowledge transfer about the value or significance of your car will probably not be passed down to your heirs.  Maybe your wife has a general idea?  Probably not.  Maybe you kept the dollars a secret over the years which we all seem to do a bit? We have all heard this “hey, did you hear about Charlie?  what’s going to happen with his ‘62 Cadillac?”  If Charlie didn’t communicate or document the value of the car then the following will probably happen.


Charlie’s widow remained in the house for several more years and the ‘62  has been sitting.  Charlie’s widow is now unable or uninterested because she needs to sell it all to pay for her care.  The kids or others are tasked to sell all of the personal property after keeping what they like and guess what?  Nobody in the room wants the dusty ‘62 Cadillac.  They have no interest and it goes on the sell list with floor lamps, the silver set, and that 115lb non-operable grandfather clock.  The kids are dutifully following mom’s wishes – “sell it all.”  An estate sale company is found and they do a walk through and guess what? – “that the old car with four flat tires and 5 years of dust has to go asap” because the estate sale is next weekend and the house is going up for sale the Monday after. Charlie never had the ‘62 , his tools, the collectibles, the dusty porcelain signs, the spare front clip out back, or the complete NOS stainless set appraised and nobody in the room has any idea of what any of this stuff is worth.  How could they?


Junior looked it up in Craigslist while at a stoplight and decided to ask $7,500.  The estate sale company called a guy…who then called a guy…who knows a guy…and that guy eventually bought the car for $5,500.  Problem solved ?


Fast forward 6 months and here comes Charlie’s ‘62  on 4 new tires minus the dust.  The guy steam cleaned it, detailed it, serviced the fuel system, put a battery in it and here it is under the lights with an $10,000 reserve that was just blown by.  The car hammers for $25,300 and everyone is happy.

Had Charlie gotten an appraisal and shared it with his wife and kids or left in in the safe they would have known that with very little effort the car is actually worth about $25,000.


Are you Charlie?

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